As patriotic neighbourhoods go Bongaree is right up there with the best of them with the residents of Allamanda Drive and Azalea Drive racking up 25 consecutive years of Australia Day breakfast celebrations in Marquadt Park.
Starting on Australia Day 1996, neighbours Paul from Azalea and Les from Allamanda hatched the plan to hold the celebrations and have been the guiding force behind the tradition ever since. Invitations are dropped by the pair in letterboxes in both streets and Les brings the BBQ and its BYO from there on with around 30 locals bringing chairs, tables, coffee, bacon, egg, sausages and other beverages.
The street has had a fair deal of turnover though the years but the core of Paul, Shirley, Les, Pat, Ron, Dot, Milly & Gilly have been every year. The first year the group sat around a small tree and chatted over the top of the foliage. These days the whole group sits in the shade of that same tree chatting away with new friends and old.
Australia Day may be a source of conflict in some communities but in Bongaree it’s the glue that holds the neighbourhood and its people together. Long may the local tradition continue.